L’Oréal announced an investment in the Fireside Fund II for an undisclosed amount. Fireside Fund II, a venture fund created in 2017, is the second investment fund managed by Fireside Ventures that focus on the consumer brands in India. The French personal care major has invested the homegrown capital for the first time as it looks to tap the fast-growing consumer brand start-up in the country.
“India is a strategically important market for L’Oréal”
With this investment, L’Oréal aims at supporting the innovative Indian consumer brands start-ups that appear to be driven by the nation’s dynamic digital ecosystem and new consumer needs, particularly of Indian Millennials.
Amit Jain, Managing Director L’Oréal India stated that:
“India is a strategically important market for L’Oréal and a great place for innovation. With this investment, L’Oréal will further connect to the dynamic ecosystem of Indian start-ups and work with them on emerging consumer needs to co-create tomorrow’s beauty trends,”
The investment was made through the corporate venture capital fund of L’Oréal BOLD- Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development launched in 2018. This investment is an extension to the previous investments done by the company in the venture capital ecosystem, including Partech Africa, Founders Factory, and Raise Ventures.
People aware of the topic said that with this Fireside Ventures is expected to make its first closing of the fund at $60 million. According to reports by TOI, the total size of the fund is expected to be $100 million.
Co-creating new generation of beauty products
Fireside Ventures, launched in May 2017, is an early-stage venture fund that focusses on consumer brands from several sectors of the market. Commenting on the deal, Kanwaljit Singh, Managing Partner at Fireside Ventures, said, “We are excited to have L’Oréal as a partner in our vision to champion the next generation of beauty entrepreneurs. Together we intend to scout and co-create a new generation of innovative beauty products, built-in India for global consumption and in faster timeframes. We at Fireside understand the highly specific needs of a consumer start-up and hence continue to invest in building an ecosystem of deep domain specialist mentors and strategic partners that can help entrepreneurs to scale. Our partnership with BOLD (Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development) is a testament of the growing trend in the consumer space in India and our commitment to introduce, mentor and build INR 100 crore brands in the next few years.”
Fireside is backed by an ample amount of angel investors that include Premji Invest, Westbridge Capital, Mariwala Family Office, Unilever Ventures, Emami Ltd., RP-Sanjiv Goenka Family Office, Sunil Munjal’s Hero Enterprise Investment Office, and ITC Ltd. Kwik24, one of Fireside’s early investments, was acquired by BigBasket the previous year.